December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas with Gabriel's Message

Traditional - Words by Sabine Baring Gould

The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow
His eyes as flame
"All hail" said he "thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady," Gloria!

"For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel,
By seers foretold
Most highly favoured lady," Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
"To me be as it pleaseth God," she said,
"My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name."
Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!

Of her Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn
And everyone throughout the world forever saved
Most highly favoured lady Gloria!

December 22, 2011

Christmas Reading with Joe Wheeler's Christmas in My Heart Series

Each Christmas, I read from Christmas books I have collected through the years.

I try to read one story each day and reflect on what I have read and the true meaning of Christmas.

I especially like Joe Wheeler's Christmas in My Heart series.I recently read a story from Mr. Wheeler's Third Treasury titled "The Fir Tree Cousins."

It's about a woman who feels so frazzled every Christmas with all of the gifts that she has to buy that she buys the same things each year for her husband's cousins whom she has never met.

One year, the boxes get switched and she didn't realize it until her cousins sent her a thank you letter expressing how touched they all were with the thought that went into each specific gift.

"A remembrance, no matter how small, if carefully and thoughtfully chosen to meet the need or desire of the recipient, carries with it more of the real Christmas spirit than the costliest gift or one chosen at random."

How true! It is easy to buy gifts for people. But, when you actually put thought into the gift, that takes some effort. In a time when people are standing in line on Thanksgiving Day, trampling each other to purchase $5.00 waffle irons, let's stop and reflect what Christmas is all about.

One year, a good "friend" of mine gave me chicken soup mix in a mug that she had swiped off a shelf at CVS. Really? This is what I mean to you?

"To feel that a certain thing has been chosen especially for you, to fit your own individuality and particular desire, if not always need - this , it has always seemed to me, is the true spirit of Christmas."

December 21, 2011

Handmade Blinged out Copper Christmas Wreath

In keeping with my metallic theme from last week, I made a wreath for my home office with beautiful copper accents.What do you think? So blingy!

December 19, 2011

Handmade Ornaments with Wood Floor Polish and Martha Stewart Glitter

I love crafting with clear craft ornaments. I make them for gifts using paint which you will read about later in this post.

But, I recently read a blog where the blogger used wood floor polish!

Forgive me because I do not remember which blog I got the idea from. If anyone knows, please contact me and I will definitely give credit.

Wood floor polish? Really? But, it works!I am bad at taking step-by-step photos but here is what you need to do.

Spray about 4 squirts into the inside of the ornament. Hold a paper towel over the opening and shake shake shake until the ornament is covered. I then turned the ornament over to let the excess drip out.

Then I poured some Martha Stewart glitter in the inside, covered the opening with a paper towel and again, shake shake shake, pouring the excess back into the glitter jar. Waste no glitter :)

Here are the results.Are they not uh-mazing! I can't wait to pick up more ornaments on sale for next year.

I also had two clear ornament bells and did the same thing.I also used paint and glitter to make the following ornaments.This really is my favorite Christmas craft and so cheap!

What's your favorite Christmas craft?

December 16, 2011

Metallics and Animal Prints for the Holidays and Beyond . . . Decorations, Clothes and Jewelry

While this season, my Christmas tree may be turquoise and white, my office, my closet and my jewelry box are getting blinged out big time in metallics and animal prints.

I went a bit nutso at Michaels this season and could not pass up these animal print silk flowers.. . . or these metallic items.My office makeover is not yet complete but it's color scheme is gold, bronze and copper. Here's a sneak peek with 50 cent white vases from The Christmas Tree Shops and a vase from Kohls I picked up years ago.I love Lord & Taylor and I love a good bargain! Check out these jewelry finds.When I saw the following two ornaments at Pier 1, I had to have them. I may just display them all year long.And finally, how about some clothes.

This Calvin Klein top was purchased for less than 8 dollars and it is so sparkly and festive.This Michael Kors top was less than $40 and fits like a glove.And this animal print top was less than $25. Perfect with jeans.
How do you decorate with metallics?

December 15, 2011

Christmas Toes by OPI

What will you be dazzling your toes with this holiday season?

I chose Meep Meep Meep by OPI and I love it.

December 14, 2011

Handmade Grave Wreaths

Every year since my mom's passing 20 years ago this week, I have handmade her grave wreath. And since my brother's passing last year, I have had to make another one.

While I do not necessarily like making these wreaths, I feel closer to my mom and brother by handmaking them.

Not "designer grade" but definitely from my heart.

"Earth has no sorrow
that Heaven cannot heal."
- Author Unknown

December 12, 2011

My Turquoise and White Christmas Tree

I have always done what I consider a rather festive job with my Christmas decorating.

But I was stuck in, while beautiful, a rut.

This is how it went: Take down boxes from attic, decorate with everything from boxes, pack everything up in boxes, head to the attic to store boxes, repeat next Christmas.

But last Christmas and this Christmas, I have decided to shake things up. Maybe it is because last year, I lost my only sibling, my brother and my family feels as if it is shrinking.

I didn't want to put up the same ornaments and pre-lit tree that I always did.

So this Christmas, I headed to Big Lots and bought myself a 4-foot white, pre-lit Christmas tree for $14.98 and I went to town with my favorite color - turquoise.

Who says your tree has to be green.Over the years, including this year in which I went nuts, I have collected all kinds of Christmas picks from Michaels and JoAnns including this beauty which cost me less than 20 cents.I used all of my turquoise small ornaments and picks and this Martha Stewart glitter starfish that I made last Christmas.My "tree skirt" consists of a piece of white satin fabric from JoAnns and white feather boas. Nestled among the feathers is this doe I glittered last season.I just love my Christmas tree this year. It makes me very happy during a time which can be difficult for me and my family.

Have you done anything different this Christmas with your decorating?

"It is good to be children sometimes,
and never better than at Christmas
when its mighty Founder was a child Himself."
- Charles Dickens

December 7, 2011

Support Your Local Library

I inherited my love of reading from my mom and Ms. Everett, my 4th grade teacher.

Rather than play at recess, Ms. Everett would take those who were interested on a walk across the field to my town's public library.

I belonged to many reading book clubs at this library (and still have the certificates to prove it :) and spent many hours with my mom roaming the aisles and shopping at the book fairs.

This is something I still do to this day and last weekend, I attended this same library's book fair where I purchased two bags of books for $2/each!I feel close to my mom when I read and go to my library's book fairs. In a few days, she will have passed away 20 years ago and I miss her now more than ever.

Where did you get your love of reading from and have you read any of these books?

"The best conversations with mothers
always take place in silence,
when only the heart speaks."
- Carrie Latet

December 5, 2011

Anthropologie Rockefeller Center New York City

Anytime I am in the vicinity of St. Patrick's Cathedral or Radio City as I was for this years Christmas Show, I always stop into the Anthropologie store.

Here are some photos from this Christmas' trip starting with the window display.LobbyI think us DIYers can come up with something very similar (and cheaper)Love these mugs but the handle is so small and kinds awkward.The best drawer pulls!I love this store. So colorful but not cheap.
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